First Online Video Lesson (diary entry)



Monday night saw the first of my online video coaching. This is my client’s second lesson in her Mixed Martial Arts programme. This is a service I have always offered but only now with the world dealing with a global pandemic have I had to transfer all my regular clients over to this form of teaching. As can be seen by various media, I have a long history on developing solo training methods as a means for enhancing and improving regular training. Nothing replaces contact coaching as far as I am concerned, being a strong advocate of pressure testing, proactive pad-work and partner drills, but we need to be able to adapt in these trying times.


We began with our usual warm-up of dynamic stretching and sport specific callisthenics. Then we began focusing on the wrestling/clinch range. I started with shadowing the lower posture and the basic three stances – left, right and Japanese (neutral). We then began some simple footwork movements maintaining this level.


We then moved onto the break-fall, covering the front, back and side versions. These were began from very low and adjusted positions and then gradually increased into their full form. Break-falls are essential techniques from a safety perspective and they will also form part of our warm-up.


Next we moved onto sprawls, covering three different angles of defence against a take down. This was then coupled with the double leg takedown. I taught this in three essential stages – dropping the level into a deep stance, driving the lead leg knee forward and then pulling the trailing leg through into a higher level position. Then we addressed the importance of clinching with the arms once the knee has been driven forward. I taught this technique from the classic grappling perspective with the knee down rather than the usual MMA entry that has the knee up. My reasoning for this is that the principle is the same and the classic version teaches stronger form, even if it is a bit slower. Therefore, it is easier to scale back from the classic version to the MMA one under pressure than it is to rise to the occasion.


The lesson finished with 2 x 5 minute rounds of shadow boxing. The first round consisted of wrestling clinch only techniques. I called out and demonstrated all the clinch techniques we have covered up to this point mainly from wrestling. The next round combined these techniques with Muay Thai and Western Boxing combinations.

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